There are many techniques for keeping your Outlook information on two different machines. However, Microsoft has not released a synchronization utility for Outlook.
Note that the methods on this page or sync utilities are not necessary if you have a Hotmail/Live account and use the Outlook Hotmail connector as it syncs messages, calendar and contacts between Outlook and online. Utilities are also not needed if you have an Exchange server account.
For simple “syncing” of email, choose an IMAP email account if your email provider supports it. If you use a POP3 account, leave mail on the server until the other computer has downloaded the messages and BCC yourself on sent messages. You can send appointments and contacts to yourself as needed, or use one of the methods below to copy non-mail items to your other computers.
Listed below are three methods which do not require third party tools, along with tools that will sync two Outlooks.
For tools you can use to sync between Exchange Public folders and mailboxes, see Synchronizing Exchange Mailboxes and Public Folders.
Synchronizing Outlook using Web Services has information on using Internet services to sync two copies of Outlook.
- For Exchange Server users, offline folders to replicate data from your mailbox and favorite Public Folders to a remote system
- Copying all or part of your Personal Folders File (see Windows Briefcase below)
- Managing a PST for Two Different Computers (Microsoft Knowledgebase)
If you use a Palm device, PocketPC, other PDA, check to see whether your synchronization software allows you to synchronize the device with more than one computer. If so, you may be able to use the PDA as an intermediary to synchronize two computers:
Computer 1 <-> PDA <-> Computer 2
Good backups on both computers would be essential to ensure that you can always roll back to a previously synchronized set of data. See Synchronizing Microsoft Outlook with a PDA for tools.
This solution comes from F.E. Froelich:
I think I have found a relatively painless way to share Microsoft Outlook between my laptop, which I travel with, and my desktop without having to connect the two computers together.
I created a directory for the two Outlook files Mailbox.pab and Mailbox.pst. I then copied the directory into My Briefcase. I then placed My Briefcase onto a disk. (I have a Zip drive on both computers, so I keep a Zip disk with nothing but My Briefcase on it for sharing files between my laptop and desktop.) I then deleted the Mailbox.pab and Mailbox.pst files from my laptop and copied the two files from My Briefcase into a directory on the laptop.
When I am ready to leave with the laptop, I put the My Briefcase Zip disk into the desktop and update the files, then put the same disk into my laptop and update. When I come back, I reverse the sequence. So far it seems to work.
As an aside, I have copied the entire My Documents directory into My Briefcase on the same Zip disk. Now all of my Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Access files are kept up to date between the two computers. When I create a new file or subdirectory on one computer, it is automatically added to the other computer the next time I do an update. This approach is much more efficient than trying to make sure that I have placed all of the individual files that I need into My Briefcase. There is no better way to manage My Briefcase than with a Zip drive (unless you have a LAN).
(Editors note: If you don’t have a Zip drive, you can use a USB key instead.)
Note that the file names may differ on your machine. See Outlook & Exchange/Windows Messaging Backup and Dual-Boot for default names and locations.
Beginning with Windows 2000, Windows versions offer a feature for taking files offline, but by default, it excludes Personal Folders .pst files. However, you can edit the system policy that controls the file types so that .pst files can be included. See Error Message Files of This Type Cannot Be Made Available Offline.
Tools in the Spotlight
CodeTwo Outlook Sync allows you to synchronize Outlook between two PCs. Use it to share all Outlook items with your assistant, workmate, secretary or partner. You can also use it to backup Outlook files to another computer. It enables syncing calendars, contacts, tasks, email, documents and many more in a local network. The program is amazingly easy to install and configure. The free version is fully functional for 30 days. Once a trial period expires, it lets you sync Outlook default calendar and contacts forever! You can upgrade to full version whenever you want for just $59 for 2 machines.
Do you need a solution to sync Outlook and Gmail Calendar and Contacts when Gmail ends ActiveSync? CompanionLink keeps Microsoft Outlook and your Google account synchronized. Make changes in Outlook and those will update your Google account. And vice versa. Set the auto-sync feature to automate the entire process. CompanionLink works with any Google, Gmail, or Google Apps account.
CompanionLink synchronizes Outlook data with phones and other supported desktop applications and web-based services (like Google). Companionlink supports all versions of Outlook, including Outlook 2013 32-bit and 64-bit, and Windows 8, and Windows 8 Phones.
Use PSTSync to perform Outlook synchronizations, helping you synchronize every Outlook folder, even custom created ones. PSTSync provides bi-directional folder synchronization as well as a number of other tools to help you manage your pst files with ease, PSTSync offers SmartMove and SmartCopy functionality as well as Encryption, Password Protection, Online Backup as well as the popular built in PST file viewer. It takes into consideration the time and date in calendar according to GMT, not just your local time (a PSTSync exclusive) Version 2.9
SimpleSYN provides synchronization of Outlook data on several computers automatically and in real-time. The data synchronization is carried out via network or, in the business version, optionally over the Internet. All e-mails, notes, tasks, appointments, contacts are updated and immediately available on all computers. SimpleSYN is flexible in its setup with the direction and mode of the synchronization (new, changed and deleted items) set individually for each Outlook folder. Supports Outlook 2010 (32-Bit/64-Bit). Free trial available. Version 2.1.
Sync ACT! Contacts, Calendar, Tasks with ALL devices that sync with Outlook or Exchange. Integrate Exchange-Stored Sent and received Emails with ACT!Compatible with Outlook, Exchange, Office 365, Google, iCloud and any other cloud service that supports Exchange.
Accurate PST Sync (APSync) is designed to easily sync or transfer messages from Outlook. The software helps you compare, transfer your email, appointments, contacts, tasks, and notes. It synchronizes your Outlook PST files in one click. Works with Outlook 2003/2007/2010.
Use Akruto Sync to synchronize your Outlook Contacts and Calendar directly with Windows Phone and Android. Akruto Sync runs on your computer and makes your computer appear to mobile devices like a reduced functionality Microsoft Exchange server. Just run Akruto Sync on your computer and tell your phone that there is an Exchange Server in your house. Syncs via Wifi.
CalendarShare is an Outlook calendar sharing solution with a different approach from other sharing solutions: instead of synchronizing appointments in the background while outlook is running, CalendarShare performs all synchronizations before Outlook is launched (i.e. first thing in the morning), working directly with the PST file, without relying on the Outlook API. All shared calendars can be viewed using Outlook, and in addition, CalendarShare offers a web interface, so users can view shared calendars from anywhere.
CloudsPlus is your no software solution for synchronizing Microsoft Exchange and Salesforce data. Supports all versions of Outlook including Outlook 2010 64 bit, iPad, Mac Outlook 2011 and any device that can connect to Microsoft. Exchange. Synchronize, contacts, calendar, tasks, and log email plus more...
CodeTwo FolderSync Addin is an Outlook add-in that enables synchronization of folders. The synchronization of data will always take place between selected folders and the user can choose several pairs of folders that need synchronizing. Freeware.
CodeTwo Sync for iCloud syncs Outlook folders with iCloud folders automatically synchronizes Outlook contacts, calendars and tasks with the iCloud data file in Outlook. CodeTwo Sync for iCloud will let you keep the iCloud and Outlook folders in sync, so you don't need to move or copy contacts and appointments between the default Outlook folders and iCloud folders. 30 day trial available.
DavSync is a two-way synchronisation tool for users of Outlook with Microsoft Exchange. It is designed to transfer Outlook entries between Local and Shared (Public) Contact, Calendar or Task Folders, so that the contents are available easily in the user's mailbox, and can be synchronised with the user's PDA, Blackberry etc.
Davton ContactSync is a free tool which will synchronise contacts in one contact folder to another. It is designed to synchronise contacts from a shared Microsoft Outlook 'Public Folder' to a personal folder - so that the contacts can be synchronised to a PDA using ActiveSync. It is a one way synchronization - changes made in the local folder or on the PDA will not be reflected back to the Public folder.
Davton SyncManager is an automated Synchronisation tool for users of Microsoft Outlook with Microsoft Exchange. It is designed to make a local copy of a Shared (Public) Folder, so that the contacts, appointments and Tasks are available easily in the users mailbox, and can be synchronised with the users PDA, Blackberry etc. The Enterprise version of SyncManager, SyncManager-Enterprise, is available to synchronise multiple mailboxes from one installation.
Easy2Sync for Outlook keeps your personal store in sync on multiple computers. Try the free version which only synchronizes the inbox and outbox, the Home-Edition to sync all email folders, or the Business-Edition which synchronizes all folder types. Improved support for Business use: Simpler user interface, improved Exchange synchronization. Supports Outlook 2010 (32 and 64 bit) and portable USB installations for the sync of e-mails, contacts and calendars. Version 4.
ExMixedFolders is a system service for Exchange Server as of version 2007 SP1 which can synchronize folders within the Exchange server structure or it can synchronize folders of other Exchange servers. The service can be installed remotely, for example on Hosted Exchange servers or it can be installed directly on the Exchange server. The user does not have any point of contact with the service.
EZOutlookSync will keep 2 or more copies of MS Outlook always up-to-date. EZOutlookSync will transfer only changed data, making synchronizations real quick and unobtrusive. Works on Outlook 2000/2002/2003.
GooOut syncs Outlook calendar and contacts with your Google / GMail account. Stay in the known and up-to-date by synchronizing your Google Account on your Google based smartphones. Sync Outlook Calendar & Contacts with Google Calendar & Contacts, one way sync and Merge possible. No server needed.
Backup and synchronize your personal data (contacts, calendar, files, bookmarks, etc.)with your phone, tablet and computer
Sync Google calendars and contacts with Outlook. Windows Mobile version also available. Version 3.22. Beta version 4.20 available.
Use OsaSync to share or synchronize your Outlook contacts, calendar, and tasks with one or more other computers on your network. All changes made to a shared Outlook item are automatically reflected in the item on the other computer(s). Supports fully automatic synchronization--just connect your computer to the network or the internet (if synchronizing via FTP) and start Outlook. OsaSync is available in PRO (v. 6.3.1) and Lite (v. 8.2) versions and supports Outlook 2000 and later.
Outlook4Gmail is a free Outlook add-in providing easy contacts synchronization of your Outlook and Gmail accounts and address books.This add-in uses these Outlook and Gmail contact details: Name, Company, Phones, Emails, Addresses, Dates, Persons, Notes, etc. You define the direction of synchronization/update: you can sync or update either the Outlook or the Gmail address book (one-way synchronization) or choose to update both accounts simultaneously (two-way synchronization).
Synchronizes data between two machines running Outlook through a small data file that can be emailed, accessed on a shared network folder, or transferred any other way you might transfer a file. Includes conflict resolution feature.
Plug2Sync creates safety copies of your most important files while avoiding duplicates. Instant and automatic File Backup helps to keep your files safe and always up to date. Use USB drive or memory cards to share and synchronize Microsoft Outlook between two or more computers. Use Plug2Sync synchronizer to mirror your file folders. If you want to sync documents on your PC at work and laptop at home, Plug2Sync is the best solution. Easy to use and user friendly interface.
Synchronize Outlook calendars, tasks and contacts with SharePoint 2007 or higher. Items can be put directly on your personal calendar or in your primary contact list. A great way to synchronize with your team. Free trial available.
Synchronizes data between Outlook PST files (for example: PC workstation to notebook) and in addition "Personal Folders" of Exchange with PST files in both directions. All folders or selected folders can be synchronized. Supports an "escalation inquiry" by reciprocally changed entries and against the unintentional deletion of data. Supports Outlook 97 through Outlook 2003.
Copies items between Outlook folders. Can be used to synchronize folders between PST files on two different machines, copy calendar entries to a public folder, or back up data to another PST file. (Version 1.6)
Sync2 is a powerful Microsoft Outlook synchronization software for those who use Outlook on their PC at work, notebook on the go, and on two or three other computers throughout the day. With Sync2 it is possible to sync Outlook folders, such as email, calendar, contacts, tasks, notes and journal between multiple PCs without a server, share Outlook Calendar with Google Calendars, sync Google Contacts and Tasks with Outlook and more.
Sync2PST is a downloadable PC application that allows you to synchronize Microsoft Outlook PST files (stores all the Outlook settings and data). Synchronizing automatically or manually any of your Outlook folders between two or more computers (Desktop PC and Laptop) has never been easier. Outlook sync can be made via shared pst files located on the same PC, your network, USB flash or hard drives.
SynchPst for Outlook synchronizes data between personal folders. Choose either single or multiple folders, with or without subfolders, and synchronize them quickly and efficiently. Version 3.1.4
SYNCING.NET for Outlook is a full featured solution for synchronization of Microsoft Outlook data between multiple computers. All data is transmitted directly between the computers via LAN/WLAN and/or the internet (peer-to-peer). Once selected, the Outlook data is synchronized completely automatically. Users don't need to do anything more and can work with Outlook as usual. Any changes to Outlook items are transferred immediately to all members of the sync network.
Use SyncMyCal to synchronizes Google Calendar calendaring service and Microsoft Outlook calendars automatically. Sync multiple calendars in Google Calendar calendaring service with single Outlook calendar and vice versa. Free Lite version available.
Exina SyncWizard for Outlook is an Outlook sync utility. Which can make your Outlook synchronized between 2 computers, typically sync your laptop Outlook personal folder with desktop's. All you need to do is to specify desktop's IP address and follow the SyncWizard click next and next.
- Sharing Microsoft Outlook Calendar and Contacts
- Maintaining a Group Calendar in Outlook
- For tools to synchronize Outlook data with a database, see Connecting Outlook and Exchange to Databases – Synchronization Tools.